High-security inmates launch ‘animalistic’ attack on prison officer after TV ban | UK | News

Hashem Abedi and Ahmed Hassan launched the “animalistic” attack on Paul Edwards in revenge for loss of privileges, jurors were told. They were allegedly joined by a third prisoner, Muhammed Saeed, 23, in the attack in May 2020. Veteran guard Mr Edwards was left “dazed and confused” with “blood pouring down his face” when the trio reportedly ambushed him in his office at HMP Belmarsh, south London.

Abedi told an earlier hearing: “I did assault that filthy pig, but I don’t see any wrongdoing,” jurors were told.

All three men were being held inside the high-security unit at Belmarsh, London’s Woolwich Crown Court heard.

Abedi and Hassan had lost privileges after they shaved their heads without permission, said Sasha Wass, QC, prosecuting.

Abedi had also been using the phone too much and spent too long in the shower, the jury heard. Mr Edwards downgraded their incentive and earned privileges level from “standard” to “basic”.

This meant no TVs, computer games or DVDs and less association time and fewer visits, Ms Wass said.

The trio are then said to have attacked Mr Edwards, who had been sitting in his office, where he operated an “open-door policy”. Saeed kicked him in the back of the head before Abedi swung an office chair at him and Hassan joined in, the court heard.

Ms Wass said: “Mr Edwards couldn’t say who exactly was doing what at that point but all three were acting in concert, they were acting as a team.”

She added: “Mr Edwards genuinely felt that they were going to kill him.” He suffered cuts to his head, bruising to his back and rib cage, and has lasting damage to his hearing. Another officer, Nick Barnett, was allegedly kicked by Abedi before all three defendants were restrained and led away.

One of the officers described their actions as “animalistic”.

The trio deny causing actual bodily harm to Mr Edwards. Abedi also denies assaulting Mr Barnett.

The trial continues.

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